Item description for Priests in Love: Roman Catholic Clergy and Their Intimate Relationships by Jane Anderson...
In the 1960s and '70s, thousands of Roman Catholic priests left the active ministry to get married. Nothing like this had been seen on this scale since the French Revolution, and before that since the Reformation. Now a different phenomenon seems to be at work: priests who have formed long-time, intimate sexual friendships. These men are not pedophiles or sexual abusers. They are adult, mature men who can no longer find a rationale for a life of obligatory celibacy and enter into responsible sexual relationships. Some of them are straight, some gay. Based on interviews, conducted over a nine-year period, with 50 Australian priests, Priests in Love tells the stories of these priests and their friends. It deals with the moral, psychological, and social challenges they face on the less traveled road of social change.
Citations And Professional Reviews Priests in Love: Roman Catholic Clergy and Their Intimate Relationships by Jane Anderson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Foreword - 05/01/2005 page 68
Publishers Weekly - 02/14/2005 page 73
Foreword - 08/19/2009
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.04" Width: 6.38" Height: 0.84" Weight: 0.91 lbs.
Release Date Feb 9, 2005
Publisher Continuum International Publishing Group
ISBN 0826417027 ISBN13 9780826417022
Availability 0 units.
More About Jane Anderson
Jane Anderson received a PhD in anthropology in 2004. Mother of four teenage children, she lives in Yakamia, Western Australia, where she has been active in Catholic parish life for over twenty years.
Reviews - What do customers think about Priests In Love: Roman Catholic Clergy And Their Intimate Friendships?
Read, but read with caution. Aug 4, 2006
This is most certainly an interesting read, however it is not without bias. While, to a certain degree, I have enjoyed reading the individual stories of the priests and their "friends" (an original and creative way to describe the partners of ordained clergy), I find that the commentary that coincides with relayed narrative is much to caustic to be thoroughly enjoyed. While I am not sure what exactly Anderson's personal stake in the issue of celibate clergy is or has been (aside from her admitted personal experience of first-hand knowledge while a parish secretary), it is clear where she stands in regard to the hierarchical church and the institutional structure that - whether it is loved or not - is necessary as part of any functional human institution.
This is definitely a read for those who are secure in their faith in the Roman Catholic Church and are not going to be scandalized to discover that the ordained clergy are human. However, Anderson does not do a very good job at showing any clergy - nearly at all - that are living an integrated and healthy life as celibates! Therefore leading her readers to develop a misconstrued opinion that this is an immediate issue for all clergy, when in fact this is not as much a pandemic as Anderson would have one believe.
Finally, it would seem most inappropriate for me to totally support this book based on what appears to be a soapbox for one author's repetitive, biased agenda, I must admit that this book does tell a story that is often overlooked or ignored however exaggerated the writer has made it out to be. Read, but read with caution.
We Have a Problem Aug 29, 2005
An Australian, Jane Anderson, chronicles the thoughts, feelings and attitudes of 50 Roman Catholic priests in Australia who have formed sexual relationships while still remaining active in the priesthood that endorses only a celibate life for the clergy. Anderson relies on anecdotal evidence to capture the theological, psychological and social arguments against celibacy as a de facto requirement for the priesthood. She effectively traces the origins of a concept long thought to have a New Testament basis in doctrine, identifying this requirement for the priesthood as originating in the 4th century and later codified by synod but ignored by several popes well into the 16th century. Anderson points out the vested interests the Catholic church has in its policy of silence, in its policy of enforcing celibacy and in its refusal to even allow discussion of the subject. Although she identifies the issues of patriarchy, sexism, hierarchy, homophobia, repression and denial, she is somehow optimistic about change and reform. Perhaps she is unduly influenced by those she has interviewed since they have only this hope to cling to if they wish to continue as priests with any degree of congruity. At the end of this book, one can only wonder about the thoughts, feelings and aspirations of those who are involved with these priests who are no longer celibate. Equally perplexing is how such priests and their partners can function for any length of time in such schizophrenic lifestyles. Although this book is flawed, Anderson does succeed in capturing many disturbing aspects of a social trend that clearly is becoming a large problem for a church that refuses to even discuss the matter privately much less publicly. Priests in Love is thought provoking and raises questions that someone will eventually have to answer.